Don Weast, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
EMPORIA – The No. 17 Emporia State baseball team took the series 2-1 against No. 19 Central Missouri with a 9-8 walk-off win Sunday afternoon. This is the Hornets’ second walk-off in three days and sixth of the season.
Emporia State led 2-0 after the second inning when Taylor Sanagorski had a two run home run to right field. After two innings, the Hornets led five hits to one.
Central Missouri answered with two runs of their own in the top of the third inning to tie the game 2-2. Emporia State was held scoreless through the third and the fourth inning, allowing the Mules to take the lead 3-2. Central Missouri plated another three runs in the fifth inning to extend the lead 6-2 over Emporia State. The Hornets answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth on just one hit to close the gap 6-5. Ryan McBroom had an RBI single to left field to score the first run of the bottom of the fifth. Levi Ashmore followed the single by scoring on a passed ball, Hornets trailing 6-4 with two outs. Mack Gowing was then hit by a pitch on a bases loaded situation to bring another run home.
Three times the Hornets were within one run only to have the Mules score another to extend it to a two run lead. After five innings, Emporia State trailed 6-5. Central Missouri took a 7-5 lead after six innings to have Emporia State answer and bring it within 7-6 after seven innings. The Mules scored yet another run in the eighth inning to have a 8-6 lead headed into the bottom of the ninth.
The Hornets plated three runs on five hits in the bottom of the ninth on their way to their sixth walk-off win of the season. McBroom had an RBI double down the left field line to bring Alex White home after White had led off with a single. Emporia State now trailing 8-7 with no outs, Mason Brown and Gowing had back-to-back singles, Gowing with an RBI to tie the game 8-8, runners on first and second, no outs. B.J. Dean walked to load the bases, still with no outs in the inning. Kaden Shaffer singled up the middle for the 9-8 walk-off win, his second walk-off hit of the season.
McBroom went two for five on the day with three RBI joined by Gowing who hit three for four with two RBI. Sanagorski had two RBI and two runs scored on his one hit, a home run. Ashmore went two for four with two runs. Shaffer and Brown both went three for five on the day.
Nathan Whitcomb picked up the win, improving to 2-1 on the year. Whitcomb threw the final inning allowing only one hit. Jordan Plank started for the Hornets and had six strikeouts and three walks. Plank allowed six runs on seven hits.
The No. 17 Hornets will travel to Topeka on Tuesday, Apr. 11 for their first Turnpike Tussle of the season. First pitch will be at 5 p.m. against the Ichabods.